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July Auto Sales Underscore Market Strength, Says Edmunds.com

July 31, 2012

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — An estimated 1.16 million new cars will be sold in July for a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 14 million light vehicles, according to the latest auto sales forecast by Edmunds.com. The projected sales would be a 9.2 percent decrease from June 2012, but a 10.2 percent increase from July 2011.

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 12 million vehicles in July, with fleet transactions accounting for 14.2 percent of total sales.

"July generally has the lowest mix of fleet sales every year, so this month tested the strength of the retail market," says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "With a pace that's still on track for around 14 million vehicles, it's a good sign that fleet is not carrying the industry.

                                       SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

        Sales Volume  July-12 Forecast    July-11    June-12  Change from July 2011*   Change from June 2012

        GM                 214,315        214,915    248,750           -0.3%                  -13.8%

        Ford               175,791        180,323    207,204           -2.5%                  -15.2%

        Toyota             169,617        130,802    177,795           29.7%                   -4.6%

        Honda              123,668        80,502     124,808           53.6%                   -0.9%

        Chrysler           122,301        112,026    144,811           9.2%                   -15.5%

        Nissan             98,216         84,601     92,237            16.1%                   6.5%

        Industry          1,166,665      1,059,118  1,284,960          10.2%                   -9.2%

                                                     *NOTE: July 2012 had 24 selling days; July 2011 had 26

 July's low fleet levels will, however, have a clear impact on individual automakers this month. Edmunds.com projects that each of the Big 3 U.S. manufacturers will lose market share in July, while the Japanese Big 3 will show gains.

"Because domestic automakers tend to have a higher percentage of fleet sales, it's no surprise that their market shares will all take a hit this month," says Caldwell. "But with new product launches driving today's ultra-competitive retail environment, it will be that much more difficult for any automaker to recover lost market share."

                                   MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

        Market Share  July 12 Forecast   July-11 Jun-12   Change from July 2011 Change from Jun 2012

                                                            (Percentage points)     (Percentage points)

        GM                  18.4%         20.3%   19.4%           -1.9%                 -1.0%

        Ford                15.1%         17.0%   16.1%           -2.0%                 -1.1%

        Toyota              14.5%         12.4%   13.8%           2.2%                  0.7%

        Honda               10.6%         7.6%    9.7%            3.0%                  0.9%

        Chrysler            10.5%         10.6%   11.3%           -0.1%                 -0.8%

        Nissan              8.4%          8.0%    7.2%            0.4%                  1.2%

      

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